Home security is always a major concern for homeowners. But you don’t necessarily want to sacrifice your home’s aesthetic appeal to make it more secure. How can you make sure that your home is both secure and beautifully designed? Here are five design features that can help improve your home’s security.

Use Home Automation

Programmable thermostats, light bulbs, and other appliances can all make life more convenient. But they can also make your home more secure. Smart light bulbs or automated curtains can be controlled from a smartphone while you’re away, and by putting it all on a random schedule, it can look like someone is always home. Complete your home automation setup with wireless cameras that can be hidden anywhere without affecting the look of your home.

Be Wise with Shrubbery

Shrubs can look pretty surrounding windows or doors, but they can also provide the ideal hiding place for a thief. Trim your shrubs, so they’re harder to hide in. Consider thorny plants, like rose bushes, to further deter criminally-minded folks. These are especially effective if they are placed below ground floor windows, as they can limit access to those windows.  

Light it Up

Leaving porch lights or solar-powered lights on all night used to be standard advice, but lately, this advice has changed. Instead, it is recommended that you use motion-activated lights. These lights allow you to protect your home without running up your electricity bill, and they can blind someone who approaches your house late at night. As an added bonus, they can also make it easy for you to see without having to find a light switch if you have to go outside.

Perform Proper Yard Maintenance

Mowing your yard is a given, but there are other yard maintenance tasks that need to be done to ensure your home’s security. Look for tree limbs that hang near second-story windows and eliminate them, so you aren’t providing easy access. Put away children’s toys once they’re done playing. Put away sports equipment, bikes, and other pricey possessions. You don’t want to provide criminals with an easy target to grab something from your yard and sneak off.

Feeling safe in your home doesn’t have to come at the price of a beautiful design. A few easy tweaks can give you both a nice-looking and secure home. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cost much.